Eleanor Coppola dies at 87

Eleanor Coppola, who documented the making of some of her husbands That of Francis Ford Coppola iconic films, including the infamous and tortured production of “Apocalypse Now,” and who raised a family of filmmakers, has died. She was 87 years old.

Coppola died Friday surrounded by her family at her home in Rutherford, California, her family said in a statement. No cause of death was given.

Eleanor, who grew up in Orange County, Calif., met Francis while working as an assistant art director on his first horror film, “Dementia 13,” produced by Roger Corman in 1963. (She had studied design at UCLA.) A few months into their relationship, Eleanor became pregnant and the couple married in Las Vegas in February 1963.

Their firstborn, Gian-Carlo, quickly became a regular presence in his father’s films, as did their next children, Roman (born 1965) and Sofia (born 1971). After appearing in their father’s films and growing up on film sets, they all turned to cinema.

“I don’t know what the family gave, except that I hope they gave an example of a family encouraging each other in their creative process, whatever that may be,” Eleanor told the Associated Press in 2017. “It happens in our family. That everyone chose to sort of follow into the family business. We didn’t ask them or expect them to , but they did. At one point, Sofia said, “The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Gian-Carlo, who can be seen in the background of many of his father’s films and who began doing photography in second unit, died at the age of 22 in a boating accident in 1986. He was killed while aboard a boat piloted by Griffin O’Neal, son of Ryan O’Neal, who was convicted of negligence.

Roman has directed several films and regularly collaborates with Wes Anderson. He is president of his father’s San Francisco-based film company, American Zoetrope.

Sofia has become one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of her generation as the writer-director of films including “Lost in Translation” and the 2023 release “Priscilla”. Sofia dedicated this film to her mother.

By joining the family business, the Coppola children were not only following in their father’s footsteps but also their mother’s. From the 1979’s “Apocalypse Now” Eleanor frequently documented life behind the scenes of Francis’ films. Filming for “Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines lasted 238 days. A typhoon destroyed the sets. Martin Sheen had a heart attack. A member of the construction team died.

Eleanor documented much of the chaos in what would become one of the most famous making-of films on film, 1991’s “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”

“I was just trying to occupy myself with something to do because we had been there so long,” Eleanor told CNN in 1991. “They wanted five minutes for a TV promo or something and I I thought sooner or later I might have five. minutes of film, then it lasted 15 minutes.

“I continued to film but I had no idea…the evolution of myself that I had seen with my camera,” continued Eleanor, who ended up filming 60 hours of footage. “So it was a surprise for both of us and a life-changing experience for us.”

Eleanor also published “Notes: On the Making of Apocalypse Now” in 1979. While the film focused on the tumult of filming, the book chronicled some of Eleanor’s inner turmoil, including the challenges of being married to a man larger than life. figure. She described being a “woman isolated from my friends, my business and my projects” during their year in Manila. She also speaks candidly about Francis’ extramarital affair.

“There is a part of me that waits for Francis to leave me or die, so I can live my life the way I want it,” Eleanor wrote. “I wonder if I have the courage to do it the way I want with him in it.”

However, they remained together throughout his life. And Eleanor continued to seek creative outlets for herself. She documented several of her husband’s other films, as well as Roman’s “CQ” and Sofia’s “Marie Antoinette.” She wrote a memoir in 2008, “Notes on a Life.”

In 2016, at the age of 80, Eleanor made her narrative debut in “Paris Can Wait,” a romantic comedy starring Diane Lane. She followed up with “Love Is Love Is Love” in 2020. Eleanor had initially decided to only write the screenplay for “Paris Can Wait”.

“One morning at the breakfast table my husband said to me, ‘Well, you should run it.’ “I was totally surprised,” Eleanor told the AP. “But I said, ‘Well, I’ve never written a screenplay before and I’ve never directed, why not?’ I kind of said “why not” to everything.

Eleanor died just as Francis was preparing a long-planned, self-financed epic, “Metropolis,” which will premiere next month at the Cannes Film Festival.

She is survived by her husband; his son Roman and his wife Jen, their children, Pascale, Marcello and Alessandro; his daughter Sofia and her husband Thomas, their children Romy and Cosima; his granddaughter Gia and her husband Honor as well as their child Beaumont; and by his brother William Neil and his wife, Lisa.

Eleanor recently completed her third memoir, the family said. In the manuscript she writes:

“I appreciate how my unexpected life has stretched and pulled me in so many extraordinary ways and taken me in a multitude of directions beyond my wildest imaginations.”

Gn entert
News Source : apnews.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
Back to top button